Many natural plant and food extracts act as antihistamines, provide relief from the symptoms, and are called natural antihistamines.
How do Histamines Work?
The chemicals released from the mast cells during the entry of unknown particles or pathogens are called histamines. The histamines arrive at the exposed surface via the bloodstream. These unknown particles and pathogens are called allergens. These histamines are released in response to the allergens. Most allergens are pollens. Pollens cause seasonal allergies. These histamines are released in response to the allergens.
The allergic reaction starts in response to exposure of the body to an allergen. When an allergen touches an exposed area of the body or gains entry into the body. The body’s immunity system activates immediately and recognizes the allergen as a foreign entity. The immunity system contains:
- White Blood Cells (Leukocytes)
- The complement system
- The lymphatic system
- The Spleen
- The thymus
- The bone marrow
The cell responsible for allergic reaction is the mast cell that is a leukocyte. Histamine is released from the mast cell. Antihistamines are, therefore, the best medicine for the treatment of allergic reactions.
Symptoms of Allergic reactions:
When histamines are released into the body, they cause many symptoms to appear. Some of the symptoms are:
- Itchy Nose
- Itchy Throat
- Runny Nose
- Itchy Nose
- Watery Eyes
- Swelling of Throat
- Skin Rashes
How Does Antihistamine Work?
Histidine decarboxylase is the enzyme that converts histidine into histamine. Then histamine causes an allergic reaction. There are three types of medicines currently available in the market t prevent allergic reactions:
- Inhibitors of Histidine Decarboxylase
- Mast Cell Stabilizer
- Prevention of Histamine Release
There are many natural types of histamine available that works just as well as the allopathic antihistamines. Some of the natural antihistamines are discussed below:
Quercetin is the most famous and widely used natural antihistamine. It is a plant flavonoid. Many fruits, vegetables & grains have quercetin in them. Quercetin works on allergic reactions and works best for inflammation (that is a symptom of allergy) and blood pressure. Quercetin inhibits the histidine decarboxylase and also suppresses histamine.
Quercetin even performed better than cromolyn in a study. Quercetin works better than cromolyn because quercetin inhibits the enzyme responsible for the conversion of histidine to histamine. In contrast, cromolyn only starts working after histamine is released. Another study done on mice showed that it worked tremendously in anaphylactic reactions that were peanut-related.
Good food sources of quercetin are:
- Red leaf lettuce
- Red apples
Quercetin supplements can also be purchased from the market. The dosage of quercetin is 500-1,000 mg daily once.
Astragalus root, also known as milk vetch, is a good medication for combating swelling in the nasal passage and intestine. It achieves this reaction by stabilizing the mast cells. The main symptom of allergic reaction is swelling in many people. Astragalus can be beneficial for them. It has been used in Chinese medicine for a long time.
The effect of astragalus and non-sedating antihistamines is same. A study showed that astragalus is quite effective for allergic rhinitis. It also has some anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. It also boosts the immunity system. This is also a good and useful point in an allergic reaction. Many supplements of astragalus are available now in the market. The dosage of astragalus for allergic rhinitis is two 80mg capsules for six weeks.
- Vitamin C
The advantages of vitamin C are numerous. Many citrus fruits, leafy vegetables, and tomatoes have large amounts of vitamin C in them. Vitamin C also boosts your immune system. It’s a natural antihistamine and antioxidant. Many studies have shown that it decreases inflammation and swelling. These are some of the symptoms of allergic reactions.
It blocks the production of histamine. A small study was conducted on 89 people that have allergic reactions. A dosage of 7.5g vitamin C was given to them intravenously. 50% of these people had less histamine in their blood after taking medicine. Another study was done in which vitamin C was given through a nasal spray. 74% of the people had improved symptoms.
In one study, 1g of vitamin C was given to a small group of people. In 11 people, the level of histamine was decreased till vitamin C was retained in the bloodstream. Once the level of vitamin C decreased, the level of histamine increased.
- Stinging Nettle
It is a plant that has many benefits. It is also a natural antihistamine. This plant is indigenous to United States, Canada, and Europe. Stinging nettle has anti-inflammatory properties that make it the best natural antihistamine for allergic reactions. Stinging nettle inhibits the release of histamine and thereby inhibits inflammation.
In a study done on a group of people, 58% of the people found that their allergic symptoms were relieved after stinging nettle. About 300mg dosage was given in that study. There is still not enough evidence that recommends stinging nettle to be used in allergies.
This plant is found in America, Asia, and Europe. It is not only effective in nasal allergies but also helps in relieving migraines. Research showed that people with allergic reactions who took butterbur found relief from the plant extract it is found in the form of a pill. A study in which humans were given tablets of butterbur showed improvements after five days and had a small amount of histamine and leukotrienes in their bodies.
It is quite obvious from the above discussion that there are many natural antihistamines present. Studies have shown that many of them provide much-needed relief from symptoms. These natural remedies, in combination with care and prevention, will provide relief from allergies. Though before taking any of these antihistamines, do your research or ask a professional. Use them with precaution and care.